Cat Power

January 21, 1972

Cat Power Artistfacts

  • She was born Charlyn Marie Marshall in Atlanta, Georgia. Charlyn adopted the nickname Chan in sixth grade.
  • Charlyn was the second child of Charlie Marshall, a blues musician and pianist, and Myra Lee Marshall (née Russell). She grew up in a chaotic, poor household with her father largely absent. Her parents divorced in 1979 after which Marshall's mom spent a lot of time in bars, dragging her two children along.
  • At the age of 20, Marshall moved to New York City and found a small basement studio where she could lay down music. Her first two albums, Dear Sir and Myra Lee Marshall, were recorded simultaneously there in December 1994.
  • In 2003, Marshall released You Are Free, which became the first charting Cat Power album, reaching #105 on the Billboard 200. However, she was going through a bad time, having just broken up with her first long-term boyfriend, runway model Daniel Currie, and was indulging in Jack Daniel's and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax from the moment she woke up.

    "I was suffering from deep depression due to the loss of the love of my life," she recalled to The Independent. "It was an agonizing pain, so I chose to induce myself in as much alcohol as I could instead of choosing suicide. Yeah, I made a choice to live in a bottle."
  • Around the release of her seventh album, 2006's The Greatest, Marshall suffered a psychotic breakdown brought on by mental exhaustion and alcohol abuse which had left her feeling suicidal. She was briefly admitted to the psychiatric ward at Mount Sinai Medical Center & Miami Heart Institute and put on medication for bipolar disorder.
  • Marshall had a period of stability for several years after settling down with the actor Giovanni Ribisi. However in 2012 he left her for British model Agyness Deyn, and the devastated Marshall decamped to Malibu and started recording Sun. The music video for the track "Ruin" finds Marshall sporting a shorter haircut than before, having cut her locks following their split.
  • In 2014 Marshall found she was pregnant. She gave birth the following year to a son, Boaz, who appears on the cover of her Wanderer album.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Yacht Rock!

Yacht Rock!Song Writing

A scholarly analysis of yacht rock favorites ("Steal Away," "Baker Street"...) with a member of the leading YR cover band.

The Fratellis

The FratellisSongwriter Interviews

Jon Fratelli talks about the band's third album, and the five-year break leading up to it.

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy Talent

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy TalentSongwriter Interviews

The frontman for one of Canada's most well-known punk rock bands talks about his Eddie Vedder encounter, Billy Talent's new album, and the importance of rock and roll.

Steve Morse of Deep Purple

Steve Morse of Deep PurpleSongwriter Interviews

Deep Purple's guitarist since 1994, Steve talks about writing songs with the band and how he puts his own spin on "Smoke On The Water."

Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee JonesSongwriter Interviews

Rickie Lee Jones on songwriting, social media, and how she's handling Trump.